New Homebased Businesses: Part-Time Vs Full-Time Startups

This article discusses the pros and cons of a part-time versus a full-time business.

Starting a new business can be a time consuming and scary venture. One big decision many new small business owners need to make is whether to dive right in and start a full-time business or to wade cautiously into the entrepreneurial waters and run their business on the side while keeping a day job. Which of these options is the right one for you?

If you are a risk taker with a nest egg in the bank and no big responsibilities to worry about, the answer is probably simple. You don't have as much to risk as a single parent with a mortgage and the other financial considerations that come with children. However, it is not so simple for most entrepreneurs. There are pros and cons to starting both a full-time and a part-time business.

When you start a business part-time, you risk having people take you less seriously. They may think your new venture is a hobby. Often, this can lead to a loss of business, since they may take their business to full-time businesses. Also, depending on the type of business you have, you may lose customers simply because your part-time hours mean that you cannot give the customers what they need when they need it. For example, a part-time pet sitter may lose a job because a dog needs a mid day walk and the pet sitter is unable to give a mid day walk because of a conflict with work hours at the other job. Finally, many prospective customers will call one number after another until they get a live person on the other end. Unless you are able to use a cell phone on your day job or can hire an answering service, you may lose still more prospective customers.

By now, if you are planning to start a part-time business, you may be feeling discouraged. However, there are many good reasons for starting a part-time business. Starting small allows you to test the market for your idea without putting all of your income at risk. If you want to begin a new business when you retire from your current job in a few years, starting that business part-time now will allow you to get everything together and work out all of the kinks before your retirement years. Finally, you may just want to work part-time because you are raising a family or caring for an elderly parent and can't find a job in the workforce that meets your needs. Running your own business allows you to control your time and care for family needs.

On the other hand, starting a full-time business can give you greater financial success than most part time ventures. You are available more hours and can take more jobs. Also, you are there for all the people who call and do not want to leave messages. People will feel confident that you are serious about your business because you have made a complete commitment to it.

There are also some minuses to starting a full-time business. You will have to quit your job to run your business full-time, which can be a very scary prospect. Most new businesses fail within several years, so there is a large financial risk. You will probably work longer than normal hours, which can cause a strain to your relationships with family and friends.

Finally, no matter which option you choose, make sure you run your plan by a small business consultant. These trained professionals can help you avoid costly mistakes as you start your new business.

© High Speed Ventures 2011